• Member Since 29th Jan, 2012
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RainbowDoubleDash


I keep staring at that "Block RainbowDoubleDash" button, and I can't help but wonder what would happen if I clicked it...

E

It's been a couple months since Nightmare Night, and Ocellus, the lost changeling drone, has just about gotten used to life hiding in the Everfree Forest at the edge of Ponyville. She's still trying to figure out everything about her new home - something made harder by the fact that only the colt Snails knows her true nature - but she's trying her best!

A Lunaverse story, a follow-up to The 'Ling from Another World. All you really need to know is that changelings haven't reformed in the Lunaverse yet.

Chapters (3)
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Comments ( 43 )

Well, hot dang... somebody's on a role now. :pinkiehappy:

9309749
You should like this especially, since it was at least partially inspired by your comment in Ling that you wished the story had been a bit more talky and slice-of-life.

The pod was more of a bowl, with an upper shell that closed down on Ocellus while she slept as an extra layer of protection.

Oh, that's adorable. She's a pearl. :pinkiegasp:

9309757
And indeed I did like it. Not quite what I was expecting, being an Everfree story instead of a Ponyville one, but not a bad glimpse into things either.

She bit back a hiss at that last thought. Ponies were her food, not theirs. As long as the sirens were in the Everfree, they’d be a threat to that food...but Ocellus was just one changeling, and the sirens never left each others’ side...

Ooh... and I especially liked this line. They're are just so many taste layers of character insight to enjoy.

As for the river trio, who no matter how hard you try I will never call them sirens... but seriously, they are always good for some silly predator fun. It is a little weird they have names now though, and so I sorta lost track of which one was which after that since I'm so used to thinking of them just by their eye-colors.

Allegro is the nominal leader, but she’s mostly motivated by hunger, more so than the other two. Cantata seems like the one most willing to chat with the food, while Chorus is a bit of a pedant.

Huh... I'd always thought of Red as more of the goofy/dense member of the group, probably because of her single minded fixation on food, not entirely unlike Sonata and her taco memes. Conversely I'd considered Teal to be more of the leader, if only because he was the chattiest I guess as well as seemingly the most level headed of the group.

Oh, I hope we get more OTP out of this.

But I’d settle for slice of life too.

9309837
The Ponyville parts are coming as I write them. I’m thinking three or four chapters total: Morning, Afternoon, Evening, and then maybe Night. The remaining chapters will be in Ponyville.

Oh, and Allegro/Red-eyes I mostly only see as the leader because she stays on-task better than the others where food is concerned. Except with Fluttershy. Sirens can have best ponies too! But anyway, her “leadership” is much less formal than even Adagio’s. Point man may be a better term.

9309839
And yes, Snails will feature prominently later on.

9309866
Ooh... I hadn't noticed the incomplete tag and so mistook this for a one-off.

Sweet! :pinkiehappy:

Nice! Love seeing more Lunaverse Ocellus and your sirens are always fun.

It is an issue in fantasy settings: there are beings/creatures that are just trying to get food to survive, but when they're capable of speech and reason there's a certain aura of malevolence that gets introduced into the mix, even if it isn't intended or justified. "If they're so smart, why don't they think of another way to get food?" That sorta thing. Nice to see something was worked out to everyone's mutual satisfaction.

Wow, I'm surprised you sort of referenced Time after Time, I was thinking of it when you mentioned Fluttering but I thought it was a coincidence. I'd also wondered if the piggy might have been a crushing boar as I used in Another Carrot, that would have surprised Ocellus.

Maybe Ocellus could meet up with Steven at some point, he might give her a few tips on how to style her fillyform to make it as cute as possible.

>this world
>back on Protea
Is this sword and sorcery "Mars is conveniently travellable" world, "another dimension" world, or thematic "Different from what I have known before but actually just a continent or two over and not a decaying craphole" world?

I am curious and wish to see more.

9310146
Another dimension. Over in the Lunaverse forums I’ve got a thread developing it a bit. Long story short it’s a post-apocalyptic Mad Max style wasteland, complete with mutants. Like the world of the Lunaverse, though, it’s geocentric, and I may draw on some sword and sorcery with references to Dark Sun.

The war that ruined it is vaguely implied to have been a nuclear one. Also the races on it besides changelings were all arthropods: anansi, ant-lions, khepri, etc. (to contrast with Equestria mostly only having ungulates). However, only the changelings now survive.

Love seeing more of this, Lunaverse Ocellus was great.

Weening a school of sirens off sapient meat would be a pretty great service for Equestria.

This was a great insight into Ocellus. Now send her to New England for some real wintry action. :D

Lion King references are through the roof! Buy! Buy!

9311647
The pig song was obviously intentional, but I didn’t even notice I’d paraphrased Scar until just a day or two ago.

I love the look of an unmetamorphosed Ocellus

I would absolutely love to see more of this.

Fascinating. I love the idea of changelings essentially being a civilization of post-apocalyptic cockroaches. They'll live anywhere and eat almost anything... though winter might be a problem. The competing threat displays and cooperative hunting made it abundantly clear that we're not dealing with ponies. Looking forward to seeing Ocellus among her prey. And her friend, who happens to be prey.

Namely, cats have absolutely no fear of things that are bigger than them

I can attests to that. My own cat, a Siberian forest breed and so by no means small, but was still positively dwarfed by my sister's akita, yet there was never any doubt between the two pets which considered themselves to be in charge. I can still remember times when my sister would come in from walking her dog on hot summer day, and my cat who had been sitting comfortably inside the whole time would purposefully take the opportunity to drink from the dog's water dish just to make it wait its turn.

Anyway another simple yet no less fun chapter... really, I could read this kind of stuff all day. Aside from the obvious character interactions, I also enjoyed Ocellus's appraisal of pony architecture in comparison to her changing aesthetic preferences. No mention of "holes" though, which at least according to Pharynx in the show had been sort of a thing in the old hive's design. Then again, maybe that was only his own personal bias, or just plain grumpy contrarianism.

9321228
Ooh, actually I just forgot about holes, but you’re right, she should be pining for things to have holes in them. I’ll add that now.

Oh, and one more thing, I also quite liked Ocellus's inquiry about Rarity being Opal's "mommy". It actually makes sense. As a bug-like species she's used to the way young changelings can look quite different from adults, and might not yet be entirely familiar with baby ponies. So for all she might know Opal really could be some kind of pony grub or nymph equivalent.

And I do so rarely get to put something together for young fillies, but with my new boutique in Canterlot opening next year I’ll certainly want the practice.

Interesting to see that Rarity's business is actually expanding quicker than her canon counterpart. Maybe the touch less generosity has actually made her a better businessmare.

You know what the sad thing is about Opal? Her first appearance, she was pretty damned reasonable and actually nice.

Anyway, another great chapter. Ocellus needs a space heater or something.

A dog is a steadfast and loyal companion that will do almost anything to make you happy.

A cat is a tiny tiger that you foolishly let into your house, won’t leave, and keeps convincing you is pulling its weight because you’re an idiot.

9321374
That and not having to personally help save the world/town/etc. every few tuesdays.

I'm always a fan of stranger in a strange land shenanigans, and this is particularly adorable.

9321409
That’s more true for my cat than you think; he was adopted off the street when he ran inside one night, a former alley cat who I guess got tired of the street life (though he remained the top cat in my neighborhood before I moved; I once saw him in a fight with another cat, and he grabbed that cat by its scruff and started slamming its face into my home’s side). He was already a year and a half old or so at that point, he’s now twelve going in thirteen. Retired alley cat at this point now since my new apartment doesn’t allow outdoor cats, but Puck doesn’t seem to mind being an indoor cat now.

I think she has probably the worst reputation among the Pet-6

Hard to argue here... as evil as Angel Bunny is, he's at least displayed some redeeming qualities, while Opal never really has.

Rarity's generosity always comes through.

Opalescence only let out a slight sniffing sound and started licking one front paw, then cleaning her face, totally unimpressed. Ocellus even confirmed the lack of concern with her tongue.

Nice.

Hopefully Opalescence can keep a secret as well as Snails, even from Fluttershy.

But then there was a deep, awful-sounding growl, followed by a threatening, almost changeling hiss, and the next thing Ocellus knew was pain as sharp claws raked across her right front leg. She let out a yelp of pain and only barely kept herself from hissing as she stumbled away. Opalescence has awoken from her nap, it seemed, and was now standing between the changeling and Rarity, with her fur on end, eyes wide, ears folded back.

Defense kitty! Also, there's some present tense that snuck into this general section.

Poor, misunderstood defense kitty.

Poor Ocellus. Stuck with the least cold-adapted tribe for the sake of verisimilitude.

Rarity may not be a hero of the realm, but her fashion stardom's still on the rise. Good for her.

I'd think pets would make excellent changeling livestock. Feed them matter and milk them for love. Of course, that would require other species on Protea capable of expressing such emotions...

Hmm. Are Protean years shorter, is Ocellus stunted due to malnutrition, or both?

In any case, quite the lucky opportunity for a cold, hungry lovebug. Especially with Rarity willing to laugh off that last faux pas. Still, hopefully Ocellus picks up pony culture a bit faster in the future; there's a lot to learn about this strange land.

9322543
Ocellus’ fillyform is the same size her normal form is, which is a little shorter than Snails, whom I see as being about 11-12 or so. So if she were a 12 year old filly, or said she was, then she’d be normal height or even a little tall (given that Snails is tall for his age). However, her height is below average for a 14 year old filly. I also don’t see her as growing much bigger - not so short she could be confused with a foal, but she is going to be petite. Because that’s cute when compared to the lanky, tall Snails.

Changelings are smaller than ponies on average, a combination of their troglodyte nature and malnutrition.

...also you just gave me a bit of a grim thought about Protea. Changelings are the dominant species there, more or less. It’s possible that a number of surviving creatures there, as a survival strategy, have evolved away the capacity to feel love, thus making themselves useless as prey.

The phrase is "subsistence level." Sustenance merely means "that which sustains" and does not mean "barely enough to sustain."

Oh, I’ll be having one more chapter after all - “Night”.

Allusions to the Matchstick Girl Christmas story here are surely coincidental and won’t be relevant to the last chapter. Surely.

So you do realize we must now have a Lunaverse story where Queen crosses dimensions, shows up for a concert, and rocks out, right? Like, it's mandatory at this point.

Anyway, good chapter. Noticed a typo,

Ponies really toon their cutie marks seriously, Ocellus should have known.

I believe that should be 'took'.

9334467
Got it, plus a few others. The big drawback of writing this entire thing on my phone, I’m afraid, is a lot of phone posting errors. Twilight was almost consistently misspelled as “Teilight”, for example

(Except the song. Like, I modded the lyrics on my phone, but the color editing was done at home, because fuck trying to do that with a touchscreen on an iPhone).

All Ocellus-as-Sprite did was put one hoof to Featherweight’s cheek, and the colt let out a slight eep, a sigh, and then fainted contentedly away. True-Ocellus looked to Ocellus-as-Sprite, both shrugged, drank their full, then moved on.

Looks like we got a love triangle on our hands! Obviously Featherweight and Snails must fight a duel for Ocellus's hoof. While she watches eating them.

Don't worry about dance magic Ocellus, even an alternative version of your queen wasn't immune. Luckily ponies are just to polite to mention little things like her admitting treason and the intention to enslave her husband to be.

“Really?” Snails asked. The two were sitting side-by-side near the library’s fireplace, a large entomological encyclopaedia open before them.

Aww! Young love it's so cute!

"Your Majesty, the reports from the infiltrators are back. The news is... not good."
"Well, out with it. This 'Equestria' seemed like a perfect feeding ground, I knew it was too good to be true."
"An infestation of... impromptu musical theatre."
"... We'll have to nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

Also, the bit about heroic stories of the victories of Chrysalis is making me imagine her with the bombast of Palawa Joko.

Officially, Hoofington’s teacher Skitch-Sketch had given her class an ongoing, year-long assignment to do on whatever they chose.

media.giphy.com/media/pELsiRADmg8us/giphy.gif

That mention of the matchstick girl has me wondering what this Equestria has for angels.

Interesting to see that Protea has tatzlwurms. I wonder if it's convergent evolution or more than one species making its way between worlds.

Lovely musical number, though that had to be a bizarre experience for Ocellus.

On the one hoof, that sounded potentially delicious; on the other... “I don’t have parents to enroll me,” she prointed out.

And add that one to the list of schools with more stringent enrollment requirements than Canterlot High...

Huh. I guess I missed the Lunaverse story where Twilight got over herself and ended up under library-house arrest.

Sufficient exposure to this bounty should hopefully get Ocellus to see ponies as more than lovesacks. In time. Eventually. Maybe. We'll see.

9335831
I’ve been using flutter ponies as a stand-in for angels or divine beings, mostly. The continent Equestria’s on is called Cissanthema, the Latin name for “Honeysuckle”, who was a G1 flutter pony (and the name is meant to parallel the origin of the name of Europe). There’s also an Equestrian navy vessel named Wingsong, another G1 flutter pony, plus in Treasure Hunt Dinky and her crew call their “ship” Rosedust, a third. I’ve also used the phrase “perfect little flutter pony” in lieu of “perfect little angel”.

Twilight comes to live in Ponyville under house arrest in Magic Tutor, and she makes a few additional appearances in other S2 Lunaverse stories, like Just Us Little Ponies

Her horn glowed blue, and Ocellus saw her remove the “Out to Lunch” sign from her door and unlock it. Instantly it opened, and Ocellus had to bite back a startled hiss and an urge to shift into something small so she could run and hide as more than a dozen ponies poured in through the door. “How big was your lunch?” One, a red-maned earth pony Ocellus remembered was named Roseluck, demanded.

Oh wow, that's a lot of waiting customers for usually nudist Ponyville. Winter, I suppose.

Feeding carelessness is bad given what discovery could bring.

Oh god, a spontaneous song. Good thing ponies usually ignore those.

This was especially true when she realized that she could see herself, her real form, alongside her, looking just as happy, dancing the way she was dancing - until true-Ocellus slung one foreleg around Ocellus-as-Sprite’s withers and pointed out a couple of old ponies down the street just walking together, close enough that they were always touching.

Neat.

Featherweight was not prepared for that experience.

That overall plan seems like a reasonably good cover.

“Really?” Snails asked. The two were sitting side-by-side near the library’s fireplace, a large entomological encyclopedia open before them. Ponies really toon their cutie marks seriously, Ocellus should have known. Of course Snails would choose a book on bugs, when she gave him the choice.

Well, she does have that cover story of doing a school year project. Might as well learn something in case it comes up.

Twilight brightened. “Of course!” She came around from the other side of the desk. “Let’s give it a shot...”

Hopefully this will be a good way to build the cover story and not invite that undesired scrutiny.

Huh... hadn't really been expecting to pick up right where the last chapter left off. Figured we'd have moved on from Rarity already, but observing Ocellus's train of thought as she weighs the pros and cons of enthralling Rarity was a very pleasant surprise.

Although brief, the insight into changeling "folklore" such as it were and how there are few happy endings while not surprising was still quite interesting. Honestly, much like how I enjoyed Smolder's offbeat Hearth Warming story on the show, I think it could be fun to hear a tale or two from Ocellus here in the Lunaverse. Hmm... and on further thought, with how repeatedly Ocellus seems to be scolding herself for gluttony, I wonder if that just about her current circumstances or if maybe there is a relevant story on the subject?

Ooh, now that song was kinda of fun, and just a bit scary with the part where she actually seduces an infatuated colt. Good reminder that however "nice" she might seem, Ocellus is still very much a predator on the prowl. Still all the more cute in the end when she is equal part confused and self-scolding for the loss of control her singing outburst was.

It probably wouldn’t hold up to close scrutiny, but it sounded perfectly plausible and so wouldn’t be closely scrutinized.

Probably also helps that being under house arrest Twilight doesn't really get around town all that much, let alone the next town over to pry to much into those details regardless. Although of very minor side concern, but given the timeframe, wouldn't Leaf Festival have established that Twilight actually knows the Hoofington librarian? Then again, that fic remains unpublished as of yet.

“Oh! Of course!” Twilight exclaimed happily,

I can just imagine her clapping her fore-hooves together in that oh so cute way as she says this. :twilightsmile:

Hmm... the detail about drawing cutie marks on the application is interesting. I suppose it makes sense that ponies might use them as a sort of "signature". Although, considering the earning of one's mark is seemingly part of a young pony's right of passage while growing up, I might wonder if prior to earning a mark it would maybe be expected for young ponies to use one of their parents marks on such forms.

She actually liked the concept behind them, and wished changelings earned cutie marks. It would certainly make organizing the Hive easier.

I've always found myself agreeing with this sentiment, it would certainly make figuring out what to do with one's life easier if it were only so obviously signposted for us when we find that "special" calling.

Your real card will be mailed to your address in two to three weeks.

Honestly, in a small town like Ponyville, I'm surprised there'd be any delay at all and Twilight couldn't just issue a card right out on the spot. Then again that kind of casual attitude might be the norm, and it's more so a case of Twilight getting all OCD about rules.

...

Anyway, I think this might have been the best chapter yet.

9345280
Funny you should mention...er, you, or your pony OC. He/you will in fact come up a bit in the next chapter.

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